Introduction to Lean
Saskatchewan’s Health Care System and Lean
What is Lean?
Lean is a philosophy or a mindset - a patient-focused approach to reducing waste by identifying and eliminating activities that do not add value. Lean empowers employees to generate and implement value-added innovative solutions to problems. Everything else is waste and should be eliminated, simplified, reduced or integrated.
How does it work?
Lean empowers employees to find ways to improve. It focuses on identifying and reducing waste. In health care, that would include things like excess inventory, time spent waiting or services, and inefficient processes that reduce time spent on direct patient care.
Why is Saskatchewan providing funding for Lean?
Saskatchewan is the first jurisdiction in Canada to apply Lean processes across its entire health system. We are doing this because Lean has proven its value in helping many organizations improve and support quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of clients, patients and staff. Although many of our patients do not directly "pay" for services in our publicly funded health care system, they do fund services with tax dollars.
Saskatchewan is uniquely positioned to introduce major, meaningful health care reform. Health regions, health care professionals and associations, unions, health sector agencies and other partners are ready to commit to an aggressive four-year program.
Lean is a patient-first approach that puts the needs and values of patients and families at the forefront and uses proven methods to continuously improve the health system.